Ok ok ok. I was all set to write a super quick blog post telling you I'm pregnant/quitting blogging/leaving Jay, and then I realized that April fools is dumb and don't you feel like lots of "jokes" are just saying really horrible things and then "oh jk?" I don't really get it, so we're not doing that.
To be incredibly clear, I am totally not pregnant, I am totally not getting a divorce, and I am definitely not stopping this website. Unless you hate it and want me to, and then I will.
To be clear.
Instead, let's keep making our dinner for this weekend! We've got asparagus, yay. Today we're making polenta! It takes five seconds! Ok, like 10 minutes, but still. LOVE polenta. It's done in five minutes! It's gluten-free! It can taste like anything you add to it!
In this case, manchego and peppers and a hint of garlic, and just YES. Just like yesterday - a great side dish, and you'll LOVE what we put on top of it later this week.
For this gorge side dish you need quick cooking polenta, manchego cheese, bell peppers (not green, any other color is great! they don't have to be babies like these, either), a garlic clove, pickled cherry peppers, chicken or vegetable stock, and milk or half and half. You could cook the polenta just in water, but I think a combo of stock and water makes a nice leetle flavor combination. Your choice, though!
To make this quick, we'll measure the liquids for the polenta and get them warming while we work on the peppers. We're making 1 cup of polenta, so read the package like a big kid and figure out how much water/stock/milk you'll need. I do ⅔ stock, ⅓ milk, give or take. Place the liquids in a covered pot over medium-high heat - we want the milk mixture simmering but not boiling. Definitely don't go to the bathroom or answer the door while this is happening, or you'll come back to a milk-flooded kitchen. Hold me.
While that happens, slice the pickled peppers and mince the garlic. Use any kind of pickled peppers you like! I just really like that tangy spice in the dish. Roasted reds would be great too if you want a more mild flavor.
When the bell peppers have sauteed for about 3 minutes, add the pickled peppers and garlic with a sprinkle of salt. Stir everything together, then turn the heat off of the skillet - we'll use the peppers in a minute.
At that point, add the manchego and the peppers to the pot, and gently stir them in. Taste the polenta, and add salt to your taste. If the polenta is too thick, add water to thin it out and achieve a consistency that you enjoy.
I'm seriously not pregnant.
Manchego Polenta with Peppers
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- milk and stock a combo, enough liquid to cook the polenta to package directions
- 1 large or 4 small orange bell peppers thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 5 pickled hot or sweet peppers drained and sliced
- ½ cup grated manchego cheese plus extra if desired for topping
- In a pot with a lid, warm the liquids for the polenta over medium-high heat until simmering. Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. When the skillet is hot, add the bell peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until seared on the edges. Add the garlic and pickled peppers, stir, and turn the heat off.
- When the milk/stock mixture simmers, add the polenta, whisking as you do so, in a steady stream. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until the polenta thickens, then add the pepper mixture and the cheese. Gently stir and taste: add salt to your preference.